Paddy's Welsh Area - 2011

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Ianroberts

Well-Known Member
I too found this post confusing as the final sentence (not in speech marks and not in italics on the origional post) does indicate uncertainty about whether Wrexham Band did appear and even if Mr Ruston appealed or not. If euphomanic was present, and it this appears to be the case, why the uncertainty. I can assure all that Wrexham were represented and the Appeal was for both Band and Mr Ruston. I am hoping for approval tonight to post the full contents of the Appeal statement.

But why the heck has it taken till now ? you have to admit that it looks shoddy at best, and well, I'll let everyone make their own assumptions as to what it looks like at worst !
 

boourns

Member
But why the heck has it taken till now ? you have to admit that it looks shoddy at best, and well, I'll let everyone make their own assumptions as to what it looks like at worst !
Does he not mean their appeal statement, rather than the reasons it was turned down?
 
It is time forWrexham Band to place on record the full details of our Appeal against the bans imposed on the Band and Mr Ruston. We post this information despite no sign of the promised letter that should explain why the Panel reached its decision 8 weeks ago and counting. We are aware many of you are beginning to tire of only hearing our side of this sad tale, but what can we do? It would appear to us that other parties believe that by remaining silent the problem will disappear, or by delaying the process the Band will somehow move on and forget how badly we have been treated. The posts made by the band (or in this case by me on behalf of the band) contain factual information. The following written statement was submitted to the Appeal Panel. It was thoroughly dissected by the Panel and the process took approximately 90 minutes (2 members of the WRC were present and they were allowed to question our statement). We have removed a small part of the statement regarding an incident that occurred later that evening in Swansea (despite it being raised in statements presented by others) primarily because the Appeal Panel did not think it relevant to the hearing and therefore it played no part in our defence or on their decision making. Wrexham Band has unanimously agreed to this posting and that it is unlikely the Band (as an organisation) will make any further postings on this thread (unless the promised letter throws up a surprise). However, it is likely the Band will make an official announcement to the Brass Band press when it receives the letter previously mentioned.

A Statement to Support Wrexham Brass (Glyndwr) in their Appealagainst the ban imposed by the Welsh Regional Council dated April 2011
The details of our appeal are as follows:
1. We wish to place on record the facts and circumstances that surround the controversial incident that resulted in allegations against Wrexham Brass (Glyndwr) of bringing the reputation of the contest into disrepute. This will be our only opportunity to formally place on record our recollection of events surrounding the alleged incident, to offer our interpretation regarding the conduct of the Welsh Regional Council before the Contest and to highlight the extremely poor handling of events by the Welsh Regional Council following the contest.
2. We wish to present evidence that the majority of Wrexham Brass (Glyndwr) were not present in the Brangwyn Hall,Swansea, let alone participating in the alleged offence that followed the announcement of the Section One results.
3. We wish to offer a mitigating statement to support our request that the ban on Wrexham Brass (Glyndwr) should be overturned.
4. We wish to make a plea that Mr Wayne Ruston’s ban is reduced to exclusion from the 2012 Welsh Regional Contest only.
We feel that we are entitled to raise issue on any point presented in statements made thathave been presented in the case against Wrexham Band (Glyndwr).
MrPhilip Morris’s statement introduces the controversy regarding the appointment of Mr Brian Buckley as the adjudicator for the First Section Contest. It is apparent from Mr Buckley’s statement that his explanation regard the dispute between him and Mr Ruston following events in 2009 is quite different from that of Mr Ruston’s interpretation of events. We would particularly like to bring to your attention that every piece of correspondence from Mr Buckley (irrespective of whatever capacity he acted) to Mr Ruston had the heading “Privileged – in contemplation of legal proceedings”. This is a very clear messageof threatening legal action. We cannot enter into a debate about their dispute, but we do wish to highlight that this difference of opinion and very serious exchange of correspondence served to significantly inflame the altercation at the conclusion of the contest. We also wish to remind the Panel that WrexhamBand (Glyndwr) felt this unhealthy relationship would compromise the integrity of the competition and we advised Mr Morris of this in our letter dated 10 March 2011. We are disappointed with Mr Morris’s response to our objection, but after a lengthy discussion the Band voted to accept Mr Morris’s decision and attend the Regional Contest. It is this disparity between Mr Morris’s response and the depth of feeling in the Band to consider withdrawal from the contest that highlights, in our view, the first significant mistake made by the Welsh Regional Council. We concede that MrRuston was on stage as alleged and that he was accompanied by his son, Mr Chris Ruston. In Mr Morris’s Personal Statement, Mr Morris suggests Mr Ruston was “physically restrained” by a memberof Wrexham Band (this was Mr Chris Ruston), although we would suggest “calmed”would be far more appropriate turn of phrase. We therefore submit that Mr Chris Ruston was not an antagonist, but he was in fact trying to defuse the situation. Mr Phil Copeman was also on stage, and anybody who has acquaintance of our ex-chairman would know he would definitely not be involved in any unpleasantness. This was the extent ofthe Wrexham contingent on stage and therefore statements such as ”many Wrexham players on stage” (Mr Morris’s Personal Statement), “some members of WrexhamBand entered the stage area and approached Mr Buckley in anaggressive manner” (Mr Morris’s findings dated 8 April 2011) and other similar statements are not a true representation of what happened. Other statements such as one from Mr PedrRoberts “a group of people congregating near the stage” (letter dated 11 April2011) indicate that the majority of Wrexham players present at the incident were in front of the stage and therefore not in a position to approach Mr Buckley at all. Mr Buckley was approached by one individual, Mr Ruston. Mr Buckley also stated (letter dated 31 March 2011) “that several of the “Wrexham Group”persuaded Wayne Ruston to be quiet and leave”, this indicates that several Wrexham players were trying to stop the altercation rather than inflame it. Also in Mr Buckley’s statement hereferred to a conversation with Mr Simon Parry after the altercation, and from Mr Buckley’s statement we would suggest this conversation was much more reasoned, and in itself no grounds to punish Wrexham Band (Glyndwr). Needless to say, why does the Welsh Regional Council sanction a South Wales Adjudicator,who does have significant links to certain bands, to adjudicate a Welsh Regional Contest. In addition, although we have never claimed to challenge the prizewinning bands or most importantly their integrity, further fuel was added prior to the results in the Brangwyn Hall when various bandsmen at the venue outwardly mocked our prediction that we would be placed last, stating some glaringly weak performances by some bands, sadly our prediction was correct. However,this comment is not to suggest we should have been placed higher, but only to draw attention to events that further inflamed the incident that ensued. We would like to explore further the Welsh Regional Council’s actions in the aftermath of the Contest, action’s we would like to place on record. We would like the Panel to recognise and record our displeasure when news of our pending ban was brought to our attention on 18 April 2011, by our friends at Rogerstone Band, when the formal press release issued by Mr Morris indicated the decision was made one day later on the 19 April 2011. We would also like to question why an announcement issued by the Welsh Regional Council was seen on 4barsrest on 20 April 2011 (we understand 4barsrest were notified on 19 April 2011) when we received our official notification one day later on 21 April 2011 (by letter to Mrs Goff). We are considerably concerned by the lack of information and acknowledgment from the Welsh Regional Council during this process, and ask why they did not seek any statement from Wrexham Band(Glyndwr) during the initial investigation. Surely our interpretation or understanding of events was relevant.
This statement, so far, does not vindicate Mr Ruston for his actions at the 2011 Welsh Regional Contest, but in our view it does outline a sequence of events that significantly increased the likely hood of a robust confrontation between Mr Ruston and Mr Buckley. We add at this point that Mr Ruston had offered his resignation to Wrexham Brass (Glyndwr) following the Contest, and this offer was refused. We unanimously felt that whilst regrettable, the incident at the Brangwyn Hall, Swansea was partially due to failings by the Welsh Regional Council, and in particular their decision not to switch adjudicators. We need an excellent MD to lead Wrexham Brass(Glyndwr) musically, and to secure the future success of the band, we were never in doubt that we should retain Mr Ruston’s services. Mr Ruston is a very passionate man when it comes to music and brass banding in particular, and to our knowledge this is the first time he has allowed his passion to overflow to such an extent. This we believe should also be taken into account when you consider our appeal against his ban. As for the allegation itself against WrexhamBrass (Glyndwr), bringing the Contest into disrepute, we strongly believe that when all factors raised in this appeal are taken into account, the playing members ofWrexham Brass (Glyndwr) are entirely innocent of the charge made against us.
We would like to present statements from Wrexham Brass (Glyndwr) band members who attendingthe 2011 Welsh Regional Contest in an effort to prove that the majority of WrexhamBrass (Glyndwr) band members were entirely innocent of any wrongdoing at theContest.
The effect of this pending ban hanging over Wrexham Brass (Glyndwr) has already had an adverse effect on both band morale and recruitment. This statement is unanimously supported bythe band committee and is representative of the band’s view overall. We collectively believe this ban is unfounded and unfair, and as we approach 2012 having not had an opportunity to redeem our reputation, both musically and otherwise, we are demoralised by the accusation and the shoddy way we have been treated by the Welsh Regional Council. Unfortunately, we have had a number of players leave the Band since the 2011 Welsh Regional Contest, but no one hasl eft due to this action brought against us by the Welsh Regional Council. A number of players have been approached to replace departing members, but some of the players approached have beend eterred from signing with Wrexham Brass (Glyndwr) due to the pending ban and the possibility of not contesting nationally. Our 1[SUP]st[/SUP] Section ranking is extremely important to us, and having achieved commendable placing in both the 2011 British Open Senior Trophy and the 2011 Welsh National Eisteddfod, we are confident this is the Section in which we belong. Surely a demotion following a nil result from the 2012 Welsh Regional Contest will be unfair on WrexhamBrass (Glyndwr), not to mention 2[SUP]nd[/SUP] Section Bands that will compete against us in 2013.
In conclusion, many factors have significantly raised the temperature leading to the events in Brangwyn Hall, Swansea on 19 March 2011. Not least the bad feeling between Mr Wayne Ruston and Mr Brian Buckley, and the refusal of the Welsh Regional Council to switch adjudicators. A great deal of the evidence presented suggests that playing members of Wrexham Brass (Glyndwr)were not involved in unpleasant behaviour following the announcement of the results, and most importantly did not approach Mr Buckley on stage. Finally, Wrexham Brass (Glyndwr) has serious concerns regarding the handling of this regrettable affair by the Welsh Regional Council both before and after 19 March 2011.
We therefore respectfully request of this Panel that the ban imposed on Wrexham Brass(Glyndwr) by the Welsh Regional Council is overturned and Wrexham Brass(Glyndwr) has its reputation restored with an acknowledgment from the WelshRegional Council. We also wish to request that if you still consider we are guilty of bringing the contest into disrepute, despite the presentation of all details contained in this appeal,then you consider suspending our ban for one year.
We respectfully request of this Panel that the ban imposed on Mr Wayne Ruston is reduced to exclusion from the 2012 Welsh Regional Contest only, or that you consider suspending his ban for 2 years.
The decision to make this Appeal has been very carefully considered by Wrexham Brass (Glyndwr) and has not been taken lightly. It has the full support of all associated with Wrexham Brass (Glyndwr),and we hope that the Panel will pay particular attention to all factors that have contributed to this very unfortunate incident.
Signed onbehalf of Wrexham Brass (Glyndwr)
 

Anno Draconis

Well-Known Member
You should consider taking legal advice regarding this matter.

Brian Buckley knows a good solicitor, give him a bell.

Oh, hang on....

Joking aside, this whole shabby farce neatly illustrates why the Welsh Regional Committee, Kapitol and the ABBA are held in such low esteem by so many of my friends in banding - and, incidentally, why banding is held in such low esteem by my musical friends outside the goldfish bowl. I despair, I really do.
 

P_S_Price

Member
Ive said it before, but Kapitol can only operate if bands continue to participate in their competitions. When opposition reaches a critical mass Bands will split off and form their own associations. The bands have it in their own hands, unite and organise, or put up with it.
 

Bass Trumpet

Active Member
Wrexham Band did appear and make representations at the Appeal hearing, but Mr. Rushden did not appeal, so I suppose he did not attend.

If this is correct then, in not appealing, Mr Ruston accepts the panel's decision. Or am I missing something?

I think it is worth noting that this is an internet forum for discussion of brass band related topics. It holds no sway with the Welsh Committee, ABBA or anyone else. There's been a hearing and an appeal. Short of praying to God, Allah, Buddha or the stone heads of Easter Island, I don't think any amount of discussion on here is going to change anything.
 
It would only take one sponsor to put on a series of contests (especially if one was on the weekend of the welsh areas) to rock the boat
 

Thirteen Ball

Active Member
Ive said it before, but Kapitol can only operate if bands continue to participate in their competitions. When opposition reaches a critical mass Bands will split off and form their own associations. The bands have it in their own hands, unite and organise, or put up with it.

Alas it is far more likely bandsmen will simply tire of banding, contesting and the way we seem to stumble from one archaic process to the next, and simply give up on banding as a whole.

The hell with contesting - it's banding we need to protect.

Contesting in the long term will look after itself, but can serve a useful purpose by bringing bands together for the better of banding as a whole.

We desperately need a central organisation run by bands, for bands, to take things forward and stop things like this being handled with so many cloaks and daggers. Someone valiantly tried to set one of those up recently, and it was shot down.... largely by Kapitol and the regional committees.....

It would only take one sponsor to put on a series of contests (especially if one was on the weekend of the welsh areas) to rock the boat

With all due respect, that sponsor would need a very hefty prize-kitty, amongst other inducements to draw bands away from the areas and the possibility of becoming national champions.
 
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eflatbass

Supporting Member
With all due respect, that sponsor would need a very hefty prize-kitty, amongst other inducements to draw bands away from the areas and the possibility of becoming national champions.

Absolutely correct. Such is the importance of the Nationals to many bands, like it or not! Regarding sponsorship: can anyone really imagine any company/organisation willing to invest big-time in brass banding, particularly after taking into account the current economic climate? I certainly cannot.
 
I agree with you all about the sponsors et al and the current financial climate. But I still feel that my premis is correct no matter how big the ask is. Maybe in reality it won't happen. But thing are about to change if Scotland goes for independance, for example, the 'Nationals' will have to exclude scottish bands OR allow other nations in so why can't we take back our movement?
 

MoominDave

Well-Known Member
Incidentally, Wills tried running an alternative series of areas and finals in the early 70s. It lasted for a short number of years before they pulled the sponsorship, and never attracted enough of the very top bands.
 

BurgerBoy

Member
Alas it is far more likely bandsmen will simply tire of banding, contesting and the way we seem to stumble from one archaic process to the next, and simply give up on banding as a whole.

The hell with contesting - it's banding we need to protect.

Contesting in the long term will look after itself, but can serve a useful purpose by bringing bands together for the better of banding as a whole.

We desperately need a central organisation run by bands, for bands, to take things forward and stop things like this being handled with so many cloaks and daggers. Someone valiantly tried to set one of those up recently, and it was shot down.... largely by Kapitol and the regional committees....



With all due respect, that sponsor would need a very hefty prize-kitty, amongst other inducements to draw bands away from the areas and the possibility of becoming national champions.

At last! I've been saying this for months on here! Banding is facing a crisis in the UK. Awful decisions, some of the older brigade desperately clinging on to power and actively putting off the younger blood that's needed to drive banding onwards towards the 20th century (yes - I mean the 20th!). As you say, so far all attempts have been shot down by Kapitol and the committees. Is there a common link there? One person, perchance.....?

As for the other contest, in Wales that might well work. Those in charge of the Welsh region have deemed that the Area's are held in Swansea every year (I've heard a number of rumours as to why this is, one being that someone who help organise it lives in Swansea and its more convenient for him/her!). Every year many North Walian bands decide not to go, simply because its too far and too expensive. Swansea is a 4 hour (at least) trip from Wrexham, and we're on the A483 that goes from Wrexham to Swansea. You HAVE to go either through England on the motorways or across difficult driving terrain - especially for coaches. Its a VERY long day (especially for youngsters who make up a large proportion of the lower section bands) or its an overnight stay. For families that probably means at least one parent staying as well, and rooms are not cheap. The Welsh Area used to be moved around the Principality each year (North, Mid, South). That was fair. At present its not. It helps the South Walian bands - they can afford to go and are fresher when they take the stage (they are generally within a hour of Swansea, or at least a reasonable distance).

So, I get the feeling that a contest rivalling the Welsh Area's in, say, Rhyl, Wrexham or Bangor (Newtown possibly) would be quite successful for as long as the Welsh Area keep the contest in Swansea.
 

IanHeard

Member
The hell with contesting - it's banding we need to protect.

Contesting in the long term will look after itself, but can serve a useful purpose by bringing bands together for the better of banding as a whole.

Totally and utterly wrong I `m afraid(IMO).
Like it or not Contesting is our 'raison d`etre', always has been, always will be.
Sort contesting out, and the rest falls into place.
 

GJG

Well-Known Member
Totally and utterly wrong I `m afraid(IMO).
Like it or not Contesting is our 'raison d`etre', always has been, always will be.
Sort contesting out, and the rest falls into place.

Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong ... ... ... etc.

The 'raison d`etre', as you put it, of any musical ensemble is to make music. Since contesting (it is generally agreed) has nothing whatsoever to do with making music (I once saw it referred to as a "blood sport" by a far greater musician than me ... ), the answer is to do away with contesting completely, and concentrate on music.

Seemples!

[IMO, natch ...]
 

IanHeard

Member
Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong ... ... ... etc.

The 'raison d`etre', as you put it, of any musical ensemble is to make music. Since contesting (it is generally agreed) has nothing whatsoever to do with making music (I once saw it referred to as a "blood sport" by a far greater musician than me ... ), the answer is to do away with contesting completely, and concentrate on music.

Seemples!

[IMO, natch ...]

The musical 'dubiousness' of contesting is obvious and most bandspeople are aware of it and guess what...they chose to do it anyway, including you I`m guessing.
If we were to do away with the musical 'prizefight' it would `nt be banding.
 

GJG

Well-Known Member
they chose to do it anyway, including you I`m guessing.

Not me. I contest because I am an employee of the band; my band are well aware of my reservations.

This morning I conducted an outstanding (IMO) performance of "Nimrod" during the Laying of Wreaths ceremony. The feedback from the public gave me far more satisfaction than any contest result.
 

boourns

Member
Not me. I contest because I am an employee of the band; my band are well aware of my reservations.

This morning I conducted an outstanding (IMO) performance of "Nimrod" during the Laying of Wreaths ceremony. The feedback from the public gave me far more satisfaction than any contest result.
But do you not think that some of our very best musical performances are done on the contest stage? With the best will in the world, very few other pieces are worked up to such a standard.
 

GJG

Well-Known Member
But do you not think that some of our very best musical performances are done on the contest stage?

No. Some of our very best technical performances may well be achieved on the contest stage, however it is my belief that the very nature of contesting discourages musical performance on the contest stage.
 

boourns

Member
No. Some of our very best technical performances may well be achieved on the contest stage, however it is my belief that the very nature of contesting discourages musical performance on the contest stage.
I'm not so sure you can separate the two so easily. For a performance to be musical there must be a degree of technical excellence, and I have certainly been a part of some hugely satisfying contest performances where the band and MD have wrung every musical drop from some tremendous pieces.
 
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